Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Storytelling Impaired

I suppose there are a number of ways to look at the question: "Are video games bad for you?"

After watching the first thirty minutes of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie I have to wonder: "Do video games impair you ability to tell a story?"

I mean: I suppose for an animated TMNT, it makes sense to have a video game-style aesthetic. But the storytelling skills on display look like they were picked up from video games, by which I mean: a "cut-scene" to get out all the necessary exposition as quickly (and inelegantly) as possible followed by an action scene that exists mostly for its own sake (i.e., with only the bare minimum of (1) ties to the story's plot/themes and (2) moments of meaningful characterization).

Maybe I shouldn't blame video games: after all, they seem to have picked up this storytelling style from bad kung fu movies. Still - the lack of imagination and creativity involved is pretty depressing.

Now to balance that with something "positive" about TMNT: there's a fight scene that takes place on a skyscraper building site that is much better directed (in terms of clarity and pizazz) than the similar fight scene at the end of Spider Man 3 (which has become my new "go to" movie as an example of everything that you don't want in an action/adventure blockbuster).

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